County to test seasonal camping

FAIRMONT – With summer camping season right around the corner, Martin County commissioners have approved trying out a few seasonal spots for at two camping parks.

Currently, camping spots at Cedar-Hanson Park (northwest of Trimont) and Perch Lake Park (south of Truman) cost visitors $20 per night for spots with utility hookups, or $10 per night without utility hookups, with a maximum of seven nights.

“There have been requests for the past few years for seasonal spots,” said Martin County Engineer Kevin Peyman. “Since we are adding a number of spots to Cedar-Hanson, we thought this could be a time to try having some seasonal spots.”

Four seasonal spots will be available at Cedar-Hanson Park and two at Perch Lake. The seasonal spots will cost $600, and be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Peyman said the rate is comparable to for-profit campgrounds, such as the Flying Goose Campground east of Fairmont.

“We don’t have any sewer hookups, so that will be an issue [for seasonal campers],” Peyman said.

Competing with other campgrounds is a concern to Commissioner Elliot Belgard.

“Another thing is the ‘what if’ factor,” he said. “We put these out there, and suddenly we have 10 campers that want to be seasonal.”

Peyman and commissioners agreed the seasonal spots would be on a trial run this summer, to see how the system fares.

“If it doesn’t work out, we don’t have to do it again next year,” he said.

In other county business Tuesday, a public hearing was set for the next commissioner meeting on May 20 for a tax abatement request by the city of Trimont. The town has been working with community leaders on the “Trimont Town Square” project aimed at bringing additional retail and services, such as a small grocery store, diesel fuel gas station, and other business and commercial entities. Developers have requested a 20-year property tax abatement through the city and county, with abated taxes going toward the debt service on the bonds that would be issued to finance the public infrastructure.

“We have not used this avenue in the past,” said Martin County Assessor Dan Whitman. “So there are no policies in place as to how to approach it.”